Here Are Michigan’s Top Instagram-Worthy Spots

Here in Michigan, we have countless destinations to visit, which all provide a great opportunity for you to take that perfect Instagram photo. And while we think every Pure Michigan destination is spectacular, there are a few that truly stand out.

Read below for 7 Instagram-worthy destinations across Pure Michigan and remember to follow us on Instagram!

1. Empire Bluffs

Empire, located on the coast of Lake Michigan in Northwest Michigan, defines the term hidden gem. With its soaring bluffs and breathtaking views, Empire is the gateway to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where you’ll find helpful rangers who can help you find all there is to know about the formation of the dunes as well as point you in the right direction for hiking trails, beaches and scenic drives. Empire Bluffs offer an unbeatable view of Lake Michigan, and is a favorite picture-taking spot for Michigan residents and visitors alike. Click here to read more on Empire.


Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @sarahmurfy

 2. Porcupine Mountains

If you’re looking for an unforgettable camping trip, venture to the western region of the Upper Peninsula. Towering virgin timbers, secluded lakes and miles of wild rivers are what you can expect to find in the rugged Porcupine Mountains. Here, you can camp on the shores of Lake Superior and enjoy sunsets from your site after exploring more than 90 miles of foot trails. During the winter, the area is perfect for Alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.  For animal lovers, the ‘Porkies’ are designated as an official Michigan Wildlife Viewing Area and offer a pet-friendly shoreline.

It's hard to find a sight more spectacular than the Porcupine Mountains in Fall

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @catchupandrelish

 3. Turnip Rock

If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing Turnip Rock via Lake Huron, we insist that you head there immediately. This enormous rock received its turnip connotation from thousands of years of erosion from storm waves. Now, it’s an island with a few trees and little other vegetation. The land nearby is all privately owned, so the only way to view it is by kayak or trekking across frozen Lake Huron in the winter. While in the Port Austin area, be sure to check out Port Crescent State Park, one of three dark sky preserves in Michigan, where you can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Read more on what it’s like kayaking to Turnip Rock here.

Turnip Rock, located on the shores of Lake Huron, is as iconic as any location in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @forehand67

 4. Silver Lake Sand Dunes

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a beach-lover’s paradise. Nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, you’ll find massive sand dunes, beach buggies—with the only sand dunes in Michigan where you can drive your own ORV—and miles of pristine shoreline beaches designed for family fun. Encompassing the towns of Hart, Mears, and Pentwater, Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area is the perfect spot for a family vacation with miles of tree-lined bike trails, historic towns, a lighthouse and more. Spend the morning on the dunes, the afternoon in the water and finish your day in one of our charming villages for a relaxing dinner at a locally owned restaurant. Ready to plan your trip? Read more about the Silver Lake Sand Dunes here.

Rev up your engines and head to the iconic Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @Izzca

 5. Tahquamenon Falls

One of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, the Upper Falls has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across. If you travel a little farther in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, you’ll discover  the Lower Falls, a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island.  The State Park offers for four campgrounds with modern & rustic campsites and more than 40 miles of hiking trails, 13 inland lakes and approximately 20,000 acres of natural area. Winter offers opportunity for snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing with miles of marked trails.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a must-see for residents and visitors alike

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @kammtheguy

 6. Mackinac Bridge

The Mighty Mack. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere with 7,400 feet of roadway suspended in the air over the straits of Mackinac and unites Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. Total length of the bridge, including its approaches, is approximately five miles. Crossing the Mackinac Bridge should be on everyone’s Pure Michigan bucket list. Want to see some truly breathtaking views from atop the bridge? Click here.

The mighty Mackinac Bridge is the perfect place to snap a photo

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @MikeConnick

7. Detroit Skyline

Detroit is truly on a comeback. Everywhere you look, there are new restaurants, retail and businesses rejuvenating the downtown. Come to Detroit to experience the eclectic nightlife and theater scenes and the high-energy streets with year-round festivals.

The Detroit skyline is beautiful no matter the weather or season

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @AndrewJones111

When in the metro Detroit area, you can take a step back in time and explore the world-famous cultural attraction that is the Henry Ford, the western hemisphere’s largest polar bear exhibit and world’s largest penguin conservation center at the Detroit Zoo or find the kid in you at Lego Land and the Sea Life Michigan aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, which features thousands of aquatic, creates and interactive touch pools. Read more on the revitalization of the Motor City here.

Honorable mention: The Blue Water Bridge, Michigan Theater, Keweenaw Peninsula and the Michigan Capitol Building (and many, many others!).

Where have you taken an awe-inspiring photo in Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!

Five Places to Discover Amazing Sand Dunes in Michigan

It’s no secret that Michigan is home to some beautiful places – from sandy beaches and amazing forests to crisp, blue water and massive sand dunes! Michigan has more than 300,000 acres of sand dunes that offer breathtaking views or thrilling experiences across the state, some of which have been getting national acclaim for their beauty.

Take a look at the roundup below to learn more about some of the many sand dunes across the state. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore encompasses a 60 km (35 mi.) stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Islands. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park was established primarily for its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations and ancient glacial phenomena. Named by Good Morning America as “The Most Beautiful Place in America” and voted one of

America’s Top 10 Family Destinations by Family Fun magazine, the Sleeping Bear Dunes are a must see destination. More information about tours, trails and more can be found here.


Saugatuck Dunes State Park
The Saugatuck Dunes State Park is a day-use park along a secluded strip of Lake Michigan shoreline, Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers 2.5 miles of shore line. The park has fresh water coastal dunes that are over 200 feet tall. The park’s terrain varies from steep slopes to rolling hills. Visit the website for more information.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes
HartMears and Pentwater
The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a beach paradise! These massive dunes are nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan and Silver Lake —the only sand dunes in Michigan where you can drive your own ORV—and miles of pristine shoreline beaches designed for pure family fun. The Silver Lake Sand Dunes encompass the towns of Hart, Mears, and Pentwater making it the perfect spot for a family vacation with miles of tree-lined bike trails, historic towns, a lighthouse and more. Spend the morning on the dunes, the afternoon in the water and finish the day in one of the charming villages for a relaxing dinner at a locally owned restaurant. Visit the website to plan your trip.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Margaret Jane Ginster

Silver Lake Dunes, Photo Courtesy of Margaret Jane Ginster

Grand Sable Banks and Dunes
Located about one mile west Grand Marais; the best place to view is from the trail beginning at the Sable Falls parking area. Another access point for the dunes is from the North Country Trail, one-quarter mile east of the Log Slide. Please stay on the trail as the dunes vegetation is fragile. Five square miles of Grand Sable Dunes are perched atop the 300-foot high Grand Sable Banks. Left by enormous glaciers, the Grand Sable Dunes dwarf comprehension. A portion of the Grand Sable Dunes is set aside as a Research Natural Area. For more information visit the website here.

Warren Dunes State Park
Warren Dunes has three miles of shoreline, six miles of hiking trails and is open year-round. It also has a dune formation that rises 260 feet above the lake with spectacular views and 1,952 acres of recreational opportunity. We have 221 modern & rustic campsites and three modern mini cabins. Visit the website for more information.

Where’s your favorite place to visit the dunes in Michigan? Share with us below and learn more on

Seven Exciting Activities to Enjoy at Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Photo courtesy of Facebook fan Bruce Edwards

Photo courtesy of Facebook fan Bruce Edwards

The temperatures are rising and we’re thinking ahead to long days spent soaking up the sun in Pure Michigan. Today, guest blogger Andrea Hekkema from Hart Visitors Bureau describes seven exciting activities to enjoy in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area.

Located on the coast of Lake Michigan is a sandy paradise called Silver Lake Sand Dunes. The landscape is unique to anything else in Michigan – sand dunes tower hundreds of feet into the air and the sounds of all-terrain vehicles buzz in the distance. Silver Lake Sand Dunes often attract off-roading enthusiasts who test their abilities on the challenging terrain. The dunes are also a fantastic travel destination for visitors looking to take advantage of adventurous activities and unique attractions. For anybody traveling to the west coast of Michigan, these seven activities near Silver Lake Sand Dunes deserve a stop on the itinerary.

Photo courtesy of Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Hart Visitors Bureau

Photo courtesy of Todd and Brad Reed Photography

Try Sandboarding on the Dunes: Sandboarding is the summer equivalent of snowboarding. Riders either rent a board or bring one from home and ride the monstrous sand dunes as a unique way to experience the terrain. Those interested can rent a board and safety equipment from The Sand Box and Wave Club Watersports Rentals.

Take a Driving Excursion: Own a dune buggy, quad or a 4×4 vehicle? As long as it meets requirements such as an ORV sticker and a 10-foot orange flag, it is good to go. A better alternative for most visitors is to rent an off-road vehicle specially equipped to handle the unique challenges of driving on sand. The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are the only sand dunes east of the Mississippi River where pedestrians are allowed to drive a private motorized vehicle from April 1st through October 31st.

Tour the Dunes with Mac Wood’s Dune Rides: Another way to explore the dunes is on a guided tour with Mac Wood’s Dune Rides. This option allows visitors to enjoy the dunes firsthand, riding with a driver who understands the history and environment of the constantly changing sand dunes.  The ride is approximately 40 minutes and follows a 7 mile route through the dunes and a quick stop at Lake Michigan.

Photo courtesy of Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Hart Visitors Bureau

Photo courtesy of Silver Lake Sand Dunes – Hart Visitors Bureau

Visit the Sable Point Lighthouse: The Little Sable Point Lighthouse is the perfect place to stop for a picnic on the beach or catch a magnificent Lake Michigan sunset. Located in Oceana County, the Little Sable Point Lighthouse was built in 1874 and is open to the public for a small admission fee. Spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area are visible from the top of the light.

Catch Some Rays on the Golf Course: For a traveler who is looking for something more relaxing than trekking through the dunes, there are other options too. The Silver Lake Sand Dunes area is home to four great golf courses for the beginner and experienced golfer. The courses feature rolling hills and perfectly green fairways that are sure to please. The area around the dunes also features family activities such as go karts, mini golf, bumper boats and a zip line.

Photo courtesy Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Hart Visitors Bureau

Photo courtesy Silver Lake Sand Dunes – Hart Visitors Bureau

Take the Family to a Local Festival: There’s always something fun going on in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area. New this year is the Blues, Brews & Dunes Festival on May 31 featuring live music from Big Boss Blues, and Hank Mowery and The Hawktones. Local foods and Michigan beers will be on hand during the festival. Other events this summer include the Blessing of the Duners, National Asparagus Festival and the Apple & BBQ Cook-off Fest in September.

Discover Local Treasures: Silver Lake is home to some small-town favorites that visitors must try. Hansen Foods is locally known for having the best brats and hot dogs while the Fox Barn Winery has a unique Asparagus Wine. The Country Dairy has a $1 endless cup of milk to quench a thirst after a long day.

Everyone has an inner-adventurer who is waiting to head to Silver Lake Sand Dunes. For more information on planning a trip to this area, visit for travel ideas and local destinations.

Have you visited Silver Lake Sand Dunes? Tell us about your experience!